Guardian II - The Fire Bird
A direct descendent of Robert Baldwin - who pioneered the first coalition of Upper and Lower Canada in 1842 -- Janet Baldwin was a rebel.
As a young woman, she turned her remarkable passion to the lifelong pursuit of ballet. She married her ballet master, Boris Volkoff much to the horror of her famous and wealthy family. Volkoff was the founder of one of Toronto's first ballet schools. A striking pair, they competed together at the Berlin Olympics in 1937. Janet's Olympic experiences later inspired the heroine in Timothy Findley's The Butterfly Plague. Throughout her teaching career, Janet's mischievous eyes and infectious energy compelled many youngsters to follow in her footsteps, to succeed with a life of dance.
Her strong facial features were captured in clay at age 78, in a portrait which reflects the intensity of a life well lived, and that certain burden of having shared the growing pains and dying pains of those she dearly loved.
Just before Janet passed away in 1992, she asked that everything be removed from her hospital room - with one exception - a poster image at the foot of her bed, of two dancers in a graceful pas de deux, titled 'On With The Dance'.
is what brings my room extraordinarily close to me. It will all be acted
out on this narrow stage, and that is why this last episode will not differ
so very much from
all the other events that have taken place here
-- Rainer Marie Rilke The Song of Justice
© 2001, The Arkangel Project.